Now that we’ve covered basically all of the projected lottery picks, it’s time to go into the realm of uneducated guesswork and wild speculation. The first pick Cleveland has in the second round is the second pick, 32nd overall. The reason this is fairly wild (some might say pointless) speculation should be obvious: it’s much harder to guess what players will be available after 31 picks than four picks.
Still, we’re here to drop knowledge about the draft, and decent players have been picked near this spot in recent years. Some examples: Landry Fields in 2010 (39th), DeJuan Blair in 2009 (37th), Luc Richard Mbah a Moute in 2008 (37th) and Carl Landry in 2007 (31st).
I’m going to throw out a few possibilities I think the Cavs should consider with this pick. I’ll primarily be looking at players who I think would be good fits with the roster here. I’m assuming the Cavs will draft Irving first overall here, so I didn’t include point guards.
Harper’s a player who can help the Cavs right away with his shooting ability. A 6’9, 228-pound power forward, the senior from Richmond shot an outstanding 44.8% from college 3 this season. He bench pressed 185 pounds 19 times, tops at the combine, though his agility and vertical numbers were below average. His defense needs work, and he will probably struggle to guard NBA big men. He’s also only an average rebounder. On the bright side, he averaged just 1.5 turnovers and 2.2 personal fouls in nearly 32 minutes per game, so he won’t hurt his team with stupid mistakes. If the Cavs part ways with Hickson, as some have predicted, Harper could make a good replacement, as they’ll need an offensively skilled big to pair with Varejao.
The Cavs are sorely lacking good athletes on the wing, and Malcolm Lee could fill that void quite well. He’s played some point in his career at UCLA, but didn’t have many more assists than turnovers and projects as more of a shooting guard. At 6’5, 200 pounds, with a wingspan of 6’10 and very strong athleticism numbers across the board, Lee can contribute right away on the defensive end. His shooting stroke needs work, but he made major jumps in both 3-point (25% to 30%) and free-throw (71 % to 78%) accuracy between his sophomore and junior years, which bode well for his development in this area. He and Irving could form a strong defensive backcourt.
One-time prep phenom Jeremy Tyler is coming back home to play basketball, and he returns with considerably less buzz than he generated when he left after his junior year of high school. Tyler, a 6’10, 260-pound big man, projects as either a center or power forward in the NBA. The guess here is that he’s a center, a position at which the Cavs sorely lack talent. He has a monstrous 7’5 wingspan and outperformed lottery pick Enes Kanter in every athleticism test besides ¾ court sprint (3.29s to 3.26s) and bench press (11 reps to 14). On the other hand, his 260-pound frame is carrying 13.4 percent body fat. His skills still have a ways to go, as he failed to garner significant playing time in his stint in Israel. Still, he remains an intriguing talent, and if he ever fulfills his massive potential, he’ll be an NBA starter. Whether that happens is anyone’s guess, but in a relatively weak draft in which they have four picks, the Cavs can afford to take a flier on a high-risk, high-reward talent like Tyler.